Jenny Gunnersen Professor & Group Head - Anatomy and Physiology Department - MDHS - The University of Melbourne, AustraliaJenny GunnersenProfessor & Group Head - Anatomy and Physiology Department - MDHS - The University of Melbourne, Australia
- 03 Feb 2023
- 11 h 30 min - 12 h 30 min
- Neuroscience Seminar Series
Excitatory synapse regulators and their potential as therapeutic targets in chronic conditions by Jenny Gunnersen
Excitatory synapse regulators and their potential as therapeutic targets in chronic conditions
In this presentation, I will describe our recent work on a family of proteins with important roles in excitatory synapse development and maintenance. These proteins have been identified as substrates of the enzyme BACE1, a potential therapeutic target in Alzheimer’s disease, and we have been investigating the consequences of chronic BACE inhibition in mice. This work has also revealed roles for these proteins in pathological synapse strengthening in psychostimulant abuse and neuropathic pain models and highlighted potential therapeutic approaches
A/Prof Jenny Gunnersen leads a research team investigating the development and plasticity of neuronal circuits and the pathological bases of developmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Jenny received her BSc(Hons) in Marine Biochemistry from James Cook University in 1986 and her PhD in molecular endocrinology from the University of Melbourne in 1994. In her first post-doctoral position, she worked with Michael Sendtner in Würzburg, Germany investigating trophic factors for motoneuron survival and regeneration. In 1998, Jenny returned to Melbourne to work with Seong-Seng Tan in the Brain Development Group at the Howard Florey Institute. From 1998-2008, Jenny held an NHMRC Howard Florey Centenary Post-doctoral Research Fellowship (part-time), a Neurosciences Victoria / Centre for Neuroscience Fellowship (part-time) and a Senior Research Fellow position at the Florey Neuroscience Institutes. During this period, she utilized emerging gene expression profiling techniques to obtain the first molecular inventory of the developing cortex and created gene knockout mouse models to determine functional roles for some of the novel genes identified. In 2011, Jenny moved to the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne (now the Department of Anatomy and Physiology) where she holds a Teaching and Research position. Her work, funded by the NHMRC, is focussed on (i) molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling synapse development; (ii) synapse formation, synapse strengthening and how these processes contribute to the pathology of psychostimulant abuse and neuropathic pain. In addition to leading the Neuron Development and Plasticity Laboratory and lecturing in Developmental Neurobiology and Cell Biology, Jenny is the Director of Research Training in her department.